New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
**Friday, September 19, 2014 *
Can you talk about home field advantage?
"Our league has seen a lot of changes. There was a time where there was a penalty if the crowd didn't quiet down and then it went to you can't incite the crowd to be loud and then I think over the years offenses have gotten better with silent snap counts being under center or in the shotgun. I think with all that being said then eventually those guidelines were removed. I think, make no mistake about it though, the noise challenges you with regards to your communication. It challenges you over the course of the game so there is not an immediate effect but it can have a building effect. We tried to take advantage of playing well here and we feel like our environment, our fan base is outstanding that way and that has helped us with our success."
Have you done anything to exploit that which has led to more home success in recent years?
"No, I said this with regards to winning on the road generally if you're playing well and winning a lot at home you probably have a good football team and vice versa. I think that playing inside with our fan base provides the big advantage and we try to take advantage of it."
Why do you think the noise makes the defense play faster?
"One of the challenges each week with the sound machine going, when we're on the road it goes on until we're on the line of scrimmage on offense. One of the challenges of playing defense though, it helps you with your get offs in pass rush because it just makes everything even. Typically the snap count and the offense knows what it is on, it might be a half a second or a quarter of a second advantage. When it becomes silent then it's off of moment, head nod, all of that. You can kind of get that advantage back defensively. The challenge defensively I just the adjustments that take place that now you have to signal as opposed to verbalize because it is so loud. We really made a point of emphasis with that machine going all week long during the defensive periods."
Does that machine get pretty loud?
You are very clinical when discussing the advantages of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but the players are very poetic about it.
"There is a passion that exists so it is not necessarily the building itself but who is in it. Playing good football, having a sold out venue, (and) having success, those things all lead to the passion and it's a big deal. There's only eight regular season home games a year. It is unlike basketball or unlike baseball. There is a buildup to it and certainly it is an important game for us this week."
Can you talk about how the Vikings front offense operates differently when RB Mike Asiata is in the game?
"He'a a good receiver first off and so there's enough where you can at least see his skillset. I would say, number one, Norv (Turner) to his credit throughout his career as a play caller, as a coordinator, has always valued the importance of running the football. Certainly there is a change when you take a player like Adrian (Peterson) out of the game and insert name your other running back, but that being said, we are going to have to be ready and defend the run. We're going to have to be able to tackle and get to the ball. With the remaining three backs, (Travaris Cadet, Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas) each one has a little different skill set and it would be similar to Mark (Ingram) not playing possibly and all of a sudden Khiry is in. There's a little different style to how they run."
Why do you think the Vikings started off the game with a lot of motions and then turned vanilla after that against New England?
"I think in the opening drive you certainly saw some tempo, you saw some big plays. There is this back and forth though and just as this is happening New England is being able to make adjustments and kind of see and settle in. A lot of times the opening script for an offense is something that you are able to rehearse if you will like tomorrow's practice kind of covers the starting 10 plays. I think more than anything else you start looking at and credit the defense for seeing the formations and beginning to adjust to the pace at which it is being played."
What are your thoughts on what some of the teams are doing to deactivate players swiftly following personal conduct incidents?
"Each club looks at it and handles it differently. First off there's a number of things that become league decisions, not club decisions. When that comes up we will always defer to the league. Fortunately we are not one of those clubs right now and yet each situation I am sure is different. Outside of that, and I said this to our local media, I really haven't had a chance to spend much time of the specifics on any of these cases. I am sure the teams involved and the league are doing what they all think is best and our focus is trying to get our first win."
Are you proud of the quality of guys you have on this roster?
"We've tried to (bring quality people in) and if you coach long enough in this league, these types of things potentially can come up and they can come up in an organization that is trying to do the right thing. We have tried to look closely when we draft our players or sign them in free agency and try to envision how they fit in the locker room and yet when you assemble a team with that many people then you have to be prepared for individual circumstances to come up. Hopefully we don't have to deal with that, but I think that it's something by and large clubs are paying more attention to in the draft and more attention to in free agency."